Ross and Rebecca Williams are high school sweethearts. They both have a lifelong passion for the farm life and even though they knew little about it when they began, they dove in and learned all they could about how to care for animals and the land. Today they have 200 sheep, three dogs, a cat, 400 chickens and a baby girl.
Ross and Rebecca have become known for their cheeses. They are the only makers of sheep's milk cheese in Georgia. Rebecca believes there are only three others in the South and ten in the US. Rebecca is surprised at the low number, "It's such a wonderful milk to work with, it wants to be cheese." Sheep's milk cheese is creamier, has a higher level of protein without the animal flavor you may find in other cheese.
Their sheep are very well taken care of, as Ross and Rebecca's daily goal is to "educate the public and to be an example of sustainable, regenerative farming in the South." On this Friday afternoon the sheep were eating dinner while being milked. It didn't take much time at all before they were on their way back to relax in the fields.
The Manyfold summertime cheeses are; (from top left) Rivertown, Brebis, Garretts Ferry and Condor's Ruin. Rebecca describes Rivertown as soft and creamy, "like melted butter and hazelnuts." She was eager to talk about Brebis too, "It tastes good on everything. I spread it on a bagel with a slice of tomato. It's divine." Having tasted each one, I can attest that all of their cheeses are truly sublime.
On my visit I was able to see the cheeses in various phases of development. It made me want to have cheese rooms throughout my own house, sigh...
On this afternoon, Rebecca was making some ricotta. She does this each time she makes the Tomme cheese (to be ready in the fall) by utilizing the leftover whey. It's easy to do and as she shared, "Why not?"
It was a pleasant surprise to walk into their lobby/office area and find some cheese for tasting and a little retail shop with great books, cheese paper, knives and such...
Rebecca was more than generous showing me around the farm. Thank you Rebecca! If you get a chance to visit the farm, I highly recommend it. (Just about a mile away from Serenbe) Friday afternoons they have tastings or you can find them at the Grant Park and Peachtree Rd. Farmer's Markets. For those out of state, contact the shop directly to have some scrumptious sheep's milk cheese sent to your door. It truly is something special...
To see an even better profile of Manyfold Farm (and other young farmers who care deeply about sustainability) check out Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson's excellent documentary, GROW!
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach Stylized cheese shots & eggs pic, Anthony-Masterson Photography